New Face, Old Tales

A Thundersmith and a Quakedancer talk for the first time in over a decade. It gets a little tense. But curry solves everything.

Date: 2018-11-09
Pose Count: 30
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-09 01:22:55 99965
    One week after Halloween. Night has fallen, and with less family fun out on the streets tonight, a certain back alley is even more secluded and quiet than before, if anything. There's certainly less sand serpent to make the place dangerous.

    But at least one person is here, leaning against a wall, arms folded. Her hammer rests against the ground by her side, her eyes closed, one finger absently tapping against her bicep every now and then. She would seem utterly relaxed... if it weren't for the occasional little arcs of lightning flickering along her body. A little crackle along one arm, a brief flicker between calf and the ground, there's even a tiny little arc that dances up one crimson spike of hair.

    Those who've been around Kokoro long enough, know that she doesn't arc when she's calm. It only starts to show up when she's getting worked up over something. At least for now it's faint and occasional. Probably anxiety over what they're there waiting for.
Lacrima 2018-11-09 01:34:10 99967
Maria Hanazawa steps out of a shadowy mist at the corners of the alley, now that she knows where this place is. She is dressed in her usual manner. Conservative and classy. She adjusts her glasses as she begins to step towards what sounds like a broken transformer?

Oh.. oh it's Kokoro. She head tilts as she purses her lips and looks around. "No one else's arrived yet?" she asks. She brushes a hand up against her hair a little as she moves to stand next to Kokoro.

"The creature is fine. Not happy with with it's accommodations, but..." she says. "Should wait for others before I go on I suppose." she snorts.

"....are you okay?" she asks. Yes, she's referring to the Kokoro's impersonation of a vandagraff.
Rashmi Terios 2018-11-09 01:34:56 99968
It has been a kind of fretful week. But Rashmi would not begin to let Kokoro deal with this new wrinkle in her friend's personal lystery by herself; that's just not how it goes.

Thus, she is likewise leaning against a wall in full henshin, Nicomachea out and open in her hands. Above the book floats a series of screens; one 'main' screen, showing a rotating 3d model of the sand snake, and a trio of minor screens along either side of the main. Five of those screens are alive with scrolling data, charts, graphs, and possibly-meaningless sciency-looking things.

The bottom left screen is showing a dog jumping into a huge pile of leaves, over and over.

Looking up from her 'studies,' she smiles at the newcomer to the alley. "Hello, Maria-chan!"
Rikuko Ishii 2018-11-09 01:38:19 99969
The sound of sandaled footsteps can be heard from... the back of the alley? There was nobody there before, was there? Regardless, the steps are measured and soft, feet being placed precisely as if to ensure she's heard. The figure that walks out is wearing a simple dark green kimono, tied with a brown obi. Though her face is obscured with the same mask she wore that night a week ago, which does not really go with the kimono at all. It at least identifies her as Jishinhime.

She's still working on deciding her image. Give her a break!

"I have come, as you asked me to last week."
Miho Kagami 2018-11-09 01:40:03 99970
Life Mahou Joy descends from the roof! She doesn't seem to have been particularly worried by the situation, because she isn't actually familiar with it, but oh well, such is the life of someone who's been a magical girl for only three and a half months. "Hey guys!" she says. "Hi, uh, Jishinhime-san."

She glances curiously at Kokoro; she isn't familiar with her mannerisms, but at the very least, the sparking is catching her attention. However, she doesn't want to call attention to it in front of a relative stranger. Letting a friend of a friend save face, yo.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-09 01:46:15 99971
    "I'm fine," Kokoro replies to Lacrima, in the universal tone of someone who is probably not, in fact, fine; but is at least 'fine enough to keep going' for the time being. At least the little arcs of lightning are only occasional just yet. A little nervousness over what she might hear is to be expected. The towering thundergirl does't open her eyes until Jishinhime steps into the alleyway, and when she does... there's a moment's stare. A confused blink.

    A glance down at herself. Back up at Jishinhime. "...You can change your outfit?"

    Wait no, that's not what they're here for. It's interesting, but it's not what they're here for. Joy gets a brief glance, one of those silent head-quirks that says 'Yo' in stoic-ese, and then Dengeki Shoujo uncrosses her arms. "No, nevermind. You said you had old stories, might have some worthwhile info in 'em?" Right into it with no preamble, it seems.
Lacrima 2018-11-09 01:56:23 99975
Maria Hanzawa sets Paige to record with a little mental command. So she can listen back to 'stories'. She looks to Kokoro. She knows that tone of voice, but she isn't gonna push the issue. She looks towards Miho and smiles as she looks between Rashmi and Miho. "Hi Rashmi-chan. Um..." she looks back towards Miho.

"Um, Dengeki, this is... Life Mahou Joy. She's a friend. She's been following me around and looking after some of the people I feed off of, recently." she says.

She looks towards Jishinhime. "Hello, Jishinhime-san." she says. "My name is Maria Hanzawa. I'm the vampire from the other night." because she figures Jishinhime is more likely to remember that- then her name.

"Right. You said you had stories. I've been trying to help Dengeki Shoujo piece this story together from bits and pieces and-- all we can do is conjecture." she says.

"So, anything you can let us know, even small, might help us." she says with a soft bow.
Rashmi Terios 2018-11-09 01:59:29 99977
"Dengeki was there when Joy saved my life, Maria-chan," Rashmi says gently, as the screens flicker and fade, and the book closes. Eyes flick to Jishinhime, and her eyebrows rise a bit as Kokoro dives right in on the request for storytime. But, this is her best friend's mystery, so she settles back against the wall to listen.
Rikuko Ishii 2018-11-09 02:07:40 99980
There's a pause, and Jishinhime tilts her head slightly. "Ah? ...oh. That was a costume the other night. I was Robin Hood!" She pauses and adjusts her mask. " a masquerade ball." Shut up it's better than anything store-bought.

She leans forward slightly in a formal bow. "It is nice to meet you all when we are not working to pacify a dangerous creature." Turning her head, she looks at Maria. "You were saying that it was doing well? That is good... I believe it was more confused than anything else." She glances back at Kokoro and shakes her head. "I only remember a little. An old story about a serpent of earth. My mother told it to me when I was young." Lifting a hand, she taps a finger to her cheek in thought. "One of those little children's rhymes about a little snake growing up to be bigger and bigger until it outgrew its house."
Miho Kagami 2018-11-09 02:10:49 99982
Life Mahou Joy smiles uncertainly. She's been ... kind of keeping quiet about the 'handling people Lacrima drains' business for obvious reasons, but if Lacrima's telling people openly, she's not going to deny it.

She shoots Jishinhime a smile. "Yeah, I was just in a witch costume on general Halloween principles," she says, "and I put the witch-hat on after I transformed for the same reason."

She listens with interest to her story, and nods along, but she doesn't really have anything to say about it.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-09 02:18:02 99984
    'Feed off of?' So Lacrima is still feeding, then. The redhead glances between Maria and Joy briefly, but doesn't seem to have anything to say on the matter. That could just be the fact her attention is elsewhere. "Robin Hood," Kokoro repeats, staring for a moment or two at the earthen girl. Well, alright, sure, why not. She's much more interested in this old story about a serpent of earth... until Jishinhime points out that it was just a children's rhyme. Tch.

    But still, it might have some kind of clue, even if it's only vague. "Alright, let's hear it. Even a nursery rhyme's more'n we have about these things right now." And more than she has about herself, she doesn't add. She's still not sure this girl is even connected to her, though the evidence does seem better-than-circumstantial.
Lacrima 2018-11-09 02:27:50 99986
Maria Hanazawa needs to feed. That'll be something that never changes. It's either feed or 'be a stark crazy lunatic monster'. She chooses to feed. She head tilts as she purses her lips and taps her chin. "Right." she says. "....let's start with that." she says.

"There's also some other questions I have, but I don't want to get off track just yet." she says as she walks to the right a little and taps her foot. Before walking back to the left. Just a single pace it seems.
Rashmi Terios 2018-11-09 02:33:17 99990
Rashmi Terios bobs her head in agreement with Maria, and flips open her book again. This time, what flickers into life is a thin 'status bar' like graphic, with a 'paused' symbol on one side. "...D'you mind if I record this, Jishinhime? Only it could come in handy later on down the line."
Rikuko Ishii 2018-11-09 02:35:18 99991
Jishinhime looks embarrassed, despite the mask. "I... do not remember the whole thing. It has been many, many years since I last heard it. It just came to mind when I saw a serpent made of sand." She softly clears her throat. "I do remember in the rhyme that it only ate leaves, so it is probably a herbivore." Turning her head, she glances at Maria again. "Does that help with caring for it?"

She pauses and takes a step back from Rashmi... then slowly nods. "I do not mind, but I really am not sure how much more useful information I can really give."
Miho Kagami 2018-11-09 02:43:57 99993
Joy shrugs. "Any info you can bring us is fine," she says. "Let us sort out the level of usefulness." She looks between the others. "'sides, five'll get you ten the little fragment is gonna turn out to be useful in some practical sense anyway."
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-09 02:53:30 99994
    That was... rather less than Kokoro was hoping for. It tells them almost nothing, although it might help Lacrima take care of the thing a little better, at least. And it looks like that might be all. Joy's right, too - for all they know, even the tiniest little tidbit might be worthwhile. You never know when something you've overlooked turns out to be relev... ant...

    If anyone here knows Dengeki Shoujo well enough to recognize the 'coin finally dropped' expression, it's Rashmi. The hammergirl's crackling has by now almost died out, but it renews just a little when that look appears on her face. "...Maybe there's more. It's a long shot, but maybe there's somethin'." The fact that Jishinhime, unlike Dengeki, actually knew her mother, that's already something. And if they're connected -- which is still a very big if -- then it's possible her mother mentioned other things. Of course, this is the big test; the answer to this might just make it less likely there's any connection between the two of them. If anything, that would be worse than having never run into the earth-user.

    But Kokoro has never been one to shy away from taking a plunge.

    "...Your mom ever mention something, anything, about 'Thundersmiths'? Or someone called 'Elysia'? Or, uh... anything, about thunder? At all?"
Lacrima 2018-11-09 02:59:59 99996
Maria perks up. "Aha! So far It hasn't made signs of being hungry. If it eats plants that's easy enough." she says. "I've been making sure it's comfortable as I can make it." she says. "I'm used to taking care of creatures. I study them. I mean things like that." she says. "It's safe with me. The only issue is that my pet creature wants to try to make friends with it, but that just means it's pressing up against it's tube all curiously peering into the other one." she says.

She looks at Dengeki a moment before she looks at Jinshinhime. She head tilts. "How long have you had these abilities? The magic. I mean." she says. "Is this recent? Have you always known?" she asks. "How did you find them?" she asks. "These are important questions too." she says softly. "Of course..."

"You're not obligated to answer them if that's too personal for you." she says softly.
Rashmi Terios 2018-11-09 03:05:07 99999
"It's okay," Rashmi says quietly, her smile an encouraging one as she nods to the book... which dutifully switches from 'paused' to 'recording' as the known bits of the nursery rhyme are explained. "It's like they're saying; you never know what's important, is all."

She seems about to say more, but Kokoro's question settles her right down. Gnawing on her lower lip for a moment, she keeps the recording going, but is clearly slightly concerned for what the file now holds, and a mental note is made to ask Kokoro how much she's like to have edited out, later.
Rikuko Ishii 2018-11-09 03:25:27 100003
"That really is all I remember of the rhyme, though. It has been... quite a long time." Jishinhime frowns slightly as if trying to recall more, then shakes her head.

"...I do not like thunder," she says softly in response to the tall girl. "Elysia? Elysia... that is a pretty name." She closes her eyes, mouthing the name a few more times silently. "I think mother may have mentioned that name once or twice. It might have been a person she knew. Theundersmiths... I recognize, though. The Quakedancers, the Thundersmiths, and the... the Wavespeakers. She made mention of all three, and there was a song... I have not heard it in years, though." Jishinhime hums a few bars of it, then falters. "I will have try to remember more."

She smiles at Rashmi and nods, then to Joy. "You are asking me to remember things from when I was a young child. If anything jogs my memory, it may just... come back unexpectedly." Maria is given a brief look. "Ah.. for some time, though it only recently grew this strong." She reaches out and wiggles her fingers toward the ground, and a short spire of rock juts out before flattening once again. "You all saw it last week."
Miho Kagami 2018-11-09 03:28:48 100004
Life Mahou Joy tenses up slightly and watches Kokoro, especially when Rashmi also does. Now that sounds like a bombshell of a question! Maria's are also worth a bit of a 'hmm'; in general, this looks like it could be something big.

She tenses up further when Jishinhime says she doesn't anything ... and relaxes when it turns out that she does.

She regards the earth-spike. "Y'know, that ability kind of resembles something an enemy of ours does," she remarks. "Maria-chan and I jumped to the conclusion that it was said enemy here, last week." She shrugs. "Totally different source of magic, though."
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-09 03:42:10 100006

    Kokoro's teeth grit, just faintly. It might be the most maddening answer possible. Just enough to tell her that there is a connection there - that this girl, whoever she is, has a shared origin. Thundersmith. Quakedancer. Wavespeaker. And yet... nothing has really been answered. Nothing at all. She knows they're connected. But hasn't really learned anything. And this new girl...

    Tzzzzt. Crackle.

    Dengeki Shoujo turns, walking back over to the wall where she's left her hammer. "...Elysia was my mom's name. I never knew 'er. Not really. I was real little when she and my dad died." A hand reaches out, grabs the hammer, and hefts it up over her shoulder. "...About a year and a half ago, I found this hammer in the ruins of our home. Didn't know a thing about it, or me, or the big sand tiger that was chasing me. I never had thunder powers before I picked this thing up. I been flying blind this whole time. And this whole time-"


    Kokoro finally seems to notice her own voltage - that her emotions are getting the better of her. "...ain't fair," she finally breathes. The crackling doesn't really die down, but she's controlling herself, at least. ...and looking anywhere but 'at Jishinhime'. "...some of you oughta swap contact info. Ain't giving mine out yet, but Rashmi and Maria can get ahold of me."
Lacrima 2018-11-09 03:54:30 100008
Maria Hanazawa blinks rapidly and turns her hand and there's a soft lavender flash as Paige takes it's more proper device form on her hand- the fingerless glove with the gem-like emitter in the palm. She summons up a screen similar to Rashmi's- if only because the similar technology- and uses her other hand to quickly tap at the screen, taking those notes.

"Reasonably. That makes Dengeki a 'thundersmith'. This seems more than 'tangentially' related for sure now." she says. She taps her chin. She nods to Jishinhime.

"There's still questions but.. I think it's prudent to save them for another day." she says, noticing Kokoro's general reaction to this. "This already gives me more information to process."

She'll wave the screen away as she sighs and rests a finger against her chin. She nods. "Right. Um..." she rattles off a cellphone number.

"You can text or call that." she says. She looks back to Kokoro and she softens a bit and sulks on over and shifts. "...of course it isn't' fair." she says quietly, as if to validate her feelings and not dismiss them. "I'm sorry." she says as she shifts a bit.
Rashmi Terios 2018-11-09 03:56:42 100009
Rashmi Terios pushes off the wall, resting a hand on Kokoro's shoulder. "There's answers, Dengeki-chan," she says quietly. "And you're a little closer to getting them. You'll find them... we'll make sure you do." Patting once, she steps away, smiling brilliantly at Jishinhime as she takes Maria's place, extracting her own -- older, slightly battered -- smartphone. "That's a pretty good idea, actually. You can have my phone number, here... oh, also. Have you ever had real Indian curry? Because there's a really easy way to get hold of me."
Rikuko Ishii 2018-11-09 03:59:49 100011
As Kokoro begins to spark, Jishinhime takes another step back. "I was... I was six when mother..." Her voice catches, and she brings up a hand to cover her mouth. "I am sorry," she murmurs softly. "I can try to look though her things to see if there was any other mention."

There are no pockets in a proper kimono, but Jishinhime appears to have managed to slip her phone into a fold of the wrapped obi. She pokes at it once and then pauses. "I... only have one phone." She looks at her phone, then herself, then the others. She can't out herself by giving the same number she uses as an Average Student! "...but I will take your numbers, for now." From behind the mask, she peers at Rashmi. "Indian curry? I do not believe I have, no."
Miho Kagami 2018-11-09 04:09:23 100013
Joy immediately tenses up again. Oh dear. She reaches out to put a comforting hand on Dengeki's shoulder, then ... lowers it, knowing how that's going to go over.

She shrugs, and turns to Jishinhime. "Here's the number I use for magical business," she says, giving her ... a rather odd phone number? "Don't worry, everyone here is understanding about secret identities, you're in good company even if you decide to tell us."

She gives a half-smile to Rashmi, knowing where she's going with that.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-09 04:12:37 100014
    Kokoro's only response to Lacrima is a soft grunt, but the sentiment seems appreciated, at least. When Rashmi touches her shoulder, though, it probably tingles just faintly, even through the plate of armor there. But the much shorter girl's assurance does at least seem to calm her, a little. There's less voltage, at least. "...yeah." The hammer stays on the opposite shoulder for now, though; mostly because that's the most comfortable position to carry it. Dengeki does glance over Jishinhime's way, though, regarding her silently for a moment or two. In some sense, she's put her foot in her mouth, but right now stubborn pride won't let her admit it.

    At least, though, she can offer an awkward, "...Korma Chameleon. Food there's good." Once again, the Thundersmith looks Joy's way, then adds, "Yeah, what she said. I, uh. I can vouch for Rashmi and Maria." She barely knows Joy, after all, but those two were the first two to really know Kokoro 'plainclothes'.
Lacrima 2018-11-09 04:19:05 100015
Maria Hanazawa nods at Dengeki, she's....

Bad at feelings, she looks at Jishinhime. "That might help. I..." she shakes her head. "Later. Questions for later." she says as she raises a hand. "I go by a few names. But my 'real self' is 'Norie Okana'." The name of a girl who's been missing for the better part of nearly two years on the news. "Maria is a cover id. But if you hear... someone call me 'Norie'. That's why." she says.

"Please do text me in the next few days." she says. "At your leisure." she says. She look at Miho and purses her lips. "....Joy-chan will you be available later tonight?" she asks. Probably for feeding work.

"Rashmi-chan do you also have a moment after this? I need to ask you something." she says.
Rashmi Terios 2018-11-09 04:27:26 100017
"Of course, Maria-chan," Rashmi says, bobbing her head. Turning back to Jishinhime, the redhead beams, extracting a folded-up flyer from between the pages of her magical book, and hands it over. "Like Joy-chan says. Here.... my parents own it. This'll give you a discount since you're a first-time customer, and if you don't feel like calling just ask anyone there for Rashmi. If I'm not helping out there or doing homework, I'll show up before all that long."

Looking back at Dengeki, she draws in a deep breath, letting it out in a sigh, looking back. "Look... The important thing, Jishinhime? You're not alone, not if you're magical in Tokyo. There's a whole lot of us running around here. If you like, between us Lacchan and I can introduce you to almost everyone in the community."
Rikuko Ishii 2018-11-09 04:48:16 100020
The numbers are entered in, even if Jishinhime doesn't offer hers back. She'll have to look into a second number now, won't she? "Ah... this is a lot of new names to learn..." She'll remember, though!

She takes the flyer from Rashmi and looks it over front and back. "Korma Chameleon?" Jishinhime's gaze shifts toward Kokoro before she nods and tucks the paper away. "I will keep all this in mind. Though more introductions are probably better for another time." Taking a step back, she gives another formal bow. "I really should be going, though. I am certain I will see you all again." She smiles, a bit nervously at first, then a little more confidently. One more bow, and she steps backwards.... and melts right into one of the walls surrounding the alley. Well, that explains how she got into the back of the alley before.
Miho Kagami 2018-11-09 04:49:18 100021
Joy frowns at Kokoro. She wants to help somehow ... but she knows full well that she isn't the right person for the job.

She blinks, and nods to Maria. "Oh! Yes, of course," she says. She takes her duty as seriously as Lacrima does -- both for Lacrima's sake, and that of the peole she drains.

She smiles faintly at Jishinhime. "I'd count myself on the list of people who can introduce you to other people, but I'm not actually good at that because I'm just a disaster." She gives her a wave. "Later!"